Newsy Nuggets: Sweet Buns, Chai Thai, Aussie Grill and a pub crawl

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Lac Viet ext

I keep a list of places to visit, review or write about, and for some time now I’ve had en entry that read, “Lac Viet Bistro is now King Crab Shack.” I guess I didn’t move fast enough on that one because the new note reads, “Lac Viet is now King Crab Shack is now Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe.” SBB&C is from John Zhao, who also owns the very good YH Seafood Clubhouse, and although the name suggests it’s mostly pastries, Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe will also feature savory Hong Kong-style dishes when it opens in December.

Longtimers will recall that the building on Colonial Drive was a French restaurant called La Normandie for many years and then was Lemon Grass Bistro before Lac Viet moved in. (It pays to keep notes.)

Sorry to see that Chai Thai, the charming restaurant on Orange Avenue in the SoDo District, has closed. It had opened in late 2009 and was a second location for a restaurant on Curry Ford Road. The original location eventually closed and is now where Pho & Roll rolls.

Aussie Grill, a fast fooder from Outback Steakhouse, will open a location in Waterford Lakes in November. As you might guess from the name, the first Aussie Grill opened in Saudi Arabia in 2019; the second was in Hong Kong. Most of the U.S. locations – in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico – are virtual kitchens. Those in Florida – Waterford Lakes will be the seventh – are brick-and-mortar (unvirtual kitchens?). The menu focuses on burgers and chicken sandwiches.

Loggerhead Distillery will host its fourth annual Cocktail Crawl in downtown Sanford in November. And thanks to the new law that allows booze producers to have onsite bars, the small-batch producer will be one of the participants for the first time along with 14 other bars and restaurants. According to a press release, those wishing to partake of of the crawl can pick up a drink card at one of the participating businesses. Then, “Through November, customers can try each cocktail featuring Loggerhead spirits and have the bartender punch their card,” which apparently is not a euphemism. Participating bars and restaurants include Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, Tuffy’s Music Box, The Basin, Executive Cigar Shop & Lounge, The District Eatery, Tap & Barrel, The Old Jailhouse, The Station Bar & Grub, The Yardery, El Zocalo Mexican Restaurant, The Wet Spot, Celery City Craft, West End Trading Company, Throwbacks Retro Bar, and The Imperial at Washburn Imports.

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